NFC West divisional preview

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It looks like Redzone are the best prices for this division, they are the home of NFL in the UK and will take bigger stakes than most of the other books. Later in the off-season they’ll have some new signup offers, last year was 25/1 on any team to win the Superbowl, so I’d advise waiting for that, and if you go through my link you could help me a bit. Last year everyone who opened an account through me won too much and I earned a grand total of nothing from it, so that’s kind proof that I won’t give out bets I don’t think will win!


Los Angeles Rams

  • Last year – 13-3
  • Superbowl odds – 11/1 (Betfair, Redzone)
  • Divisional odds – 11/18 (?!) (Redzone)
  • O/U line – 10.5 (over 5/4, under 5/6 skybet)

Despite the likely Superbowl hangover (it’s a thing), I think it’s pretty hard to look past the Rams repeating their divisional win from last year, they haven’t lost a whole lot in the off season, Suh went over to the Buccs, and CJ Anderson left for the Lions, but they weren’t overly important to this team.

Jared Goff showed enough last season to put him in the second tier of QBs in the league for me personally, especially early in the season before Cooper Kupp got injured and I think in this McVay offense he can support 3 viable WR options. I mean 4,688 passing yards is nothing to be sniffed at! Visually the first third of the season had the biggest impact on me, but he was fairly consistent throughout even after without Todd Gurley for the last few games of the season.

And it’s the Gurley injury which is the main concern for me, and everyone else who likes the NFL, on this roster. The confusion comes because the Rams kept saying he was fine, then he didn’t get on the field. That has tarnished them for a lot of people and despite them giving positivity throughout the summer about Gurley it’s just impossible to trust them now. What we do know is that they traded up in the draft to take a running back, Darrell Henderson, and equalled the offer sheet for Malcolm Brown, so they obviously felt they needed depth there. What seems likely is that they reduce Gurleys workload, it just remains to be seen how much they reduce it.

The 3 WRs here are all good and all provide slightly different positives. It seems from the start of last season that Cooper Kupp is Goffs favourite target (8 games with 566 yards and 6 TDs), especially in the redzone, he was on for a big year until doing his ACL but should be back healthy for this year as he’s already in training. Brandin Cooks is the big play threat, and he went over 1,000 yards again with 5 TDs, and Robert Woods fills in the other areas and finished with 1,219 yards and 6 TDs from the full season. They like to be even with the targets as well, last year Woods 130, Cooks 117 and Kupp on target for 110. Without Kupp Josh Reynolds filled in pretty well providing 5 TDs across the season. The Tight ends though aren’t much of a factory in the passing game in this team, Everett would be the one to look at if you wanted fantasy/betting help though.

The defense revolves around the best defensive player in the league, and Aaron Donald will be looking to make it three DPOY’s in a row this year.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Last year – 10-6
  • Superbowl odds – 33/1 (Redzone)
  • Divisional odds – 7/2 (Redzone)
  • O/U line – 8.5 (over 10/11, under 11/10 PP)

The Seahawks confuse me. I had them at u8.5 wins last year, I thought their defense had weakened and they didn’t have enough in the passing game. Well turns out you don’t need a passing game when you don’t pass the ball. They went full on old school and ran the ball a hell of a lot last year.

It helps that when you do try and pass the ball that you’ve got one of the best QBs of the last 8 years or so. He was down at his lowest attempts since 2013 last year, but finished with the highest TDs of his career so far, they also restricted his rushing to the lowest of his career as well, and not even a single rushing TD.

Around a third of his passing yards went to Tyler Lockett who was historically efficient on his catches last year 57 from 70 targets and 10 TDs, one every 7 catches is something you’d usually call unsustainable and history definitely suggests that will be true. They will need someone to step up to replace Doug Baldwin who retired through injury this year after struggling through a lot of last year. In my eyes it will be David Moore who will get a TD boost, he finished 3rd in the team on yards and targets last year, and got himself 5 TDs (including 2 in a game at 500/1 which someone here might have been on) So he’s already got a connection with Wilson and shown what he can do. What does surprise me is that Jaron Brown got 5 TDs as well last year! But the one getting all the hype in camp is DK Metcalf, the physical freak who showed he could run really quick in a straight line at the combine, he’s a decent late round flyer in fantasy, he shouldn’t get beaten in 50/50s. Tight end? Will Dissly?

The running game is the main point of interest, Chris Carson got the main role last year with 3 times the carries as 1st round rookie Rashaad Penny had last year. It seems likely that it will be a 60/30 split this year so Penny should get a few more carries in relation to him this year. Carson was great for them last year, but I have a soft spot for Penny who looked good when he was given the opportunities last year.

The defense proved me wrong last year, they stepped up after losing a couple of key guys, and on paper they’re weaker again this year, but I don’t count against Pete Carrolls enthusiasm rubbing off on his team any more!

San Francisco 49ers

  • Last year – 4-12
  • Superbowl odds – 40/1 (Skybet, Unibet, Redzone)
  • Divisional odds – 6/1 (Sportingbet, best of 5s elsewhere)
  • O/U line – 7.5 on Skybet (over 4/5, under 10/11)
  • O/U line – 8 on Paddypower (over 8/11, under 1/1)
  • O/U line – 8.5 on Ladbrokes/365 (over 21/20 (ladbrokes), under 10/13 (365))

This bunch confuse me as well, they were admittedly hit with some big injuries last year, but… I dunno, I’m not sure what the hell to think about this team.

Jimmy Garoppolo. Is he the king of football? He’s played 9 games in 2 years for the 49ers, 2,278 yards in those game, 12:8 TDs to INTs, and, fucking hell, sacked 13 times in 3 games last season?! I know he’s shown well in the small game time he’s had so far, but I’m just not sure… Either way, the fact that Shanahan managed to get good numbers from his QB2 and 3 is a good sign for them on a whole.

They’ve definitely loaded up on targets to throw to this year anyway, Marquise Goodwin hardly gets a mention now after a down year last year with Dante Pettis seems to be the main man there this year after a decent rookie season with randomers throwing the ball to him on the whole, 467 yards in 12 games with 5 TDs for him. I would never have guessed the player who had the second most yards on the team last year, Kendrick Bourne had 487 from 16 games. So this year they’ve stocked up with Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd joining the team through the draft, both have had good reports through training camp, Hurd especially seems to be making a name for himself in the redzone as a RB/TE/WR.  Trent Taylor was expected to be the slot guy, but he’s already injured already as well. The biggest bright spot for the team last year was TE George Kittle who exploded on to the season and is commonly taken as the 3rd TE in fantasy drafts this year… Now I don’t want to shit all over the Niners, but I’m never going to buy him there. He had 12 receptions from 20 attempts with Garoppolo at the start of the season for 200ish yards, which is noting to be sniffed at and he had some huge runs with Shanahan getting him WIIIIIDE open in the middle of the field. He’ll have a good season I just wouldn’t have him in the 3rd round in fantasy.

The running back group is tough to call as well, it was supposed to be Jerrick McKinnon last year, he’s out already for this year after testing his knee. Matt Breida ended up with the most carries but was frequently injured, he seemed to play half the season with a knock, fair play to him for only missing 2 games in total. This year though it seems likely that Tevin Coleman will get the first shot at the lead role after they gave him a decent contract to join, and he’s got history with Shanahan from his time in Atlanta. If both of them are out (quite possible given their luck last year) then Raheem Mostert or Jeff Wilson can fill in, both did all right when required last year.

The defense should take a step forward this year too, the drafted some pass rush, Nick Bosa to go with an already hugely physical defensive front, Sherman had a good year in the secondary, and Jacuzzi Tart, (roughly spelt correctly) and Fred Warner had good seasons in the secondary as well, I like them as a unit this year.

Will they top 7.5 wins? Fuck knows. Consensus seems to be that they could make a playoff run. I’m not so sure.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Last year – 3-13
  • Superbowl odds – 150/1 (Redzone, 250s on Blacktype)
  • Divisional odds – 28/1 (Redzone)
  • O/U line – 5.5 (over 11/10, under 18/25)
  • O/U line – 5 on Redzone (over 20/27, under 23/20)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, every year (except 1) since the league split into the divisions as we know them there’s been at least one team who have gone from worst-to-first, will the Cardinals be that team this year?! Probably not. BUT… New head coach, “game-changing” QB… I can see a story where the league fails to deal with the offense for the first few weeks and they get off to a good start.

Kyler Murray became the first guy to be drafted in the first round of the MLB and NFL draft when the Cardinals took him at one in April, and he could really shake up the league, a league which was already moving towards mobile QBs might have to get there a bit quicker now that he’s entered the league, he’s incredibly mobile and has an accurate arm as well. It’s also quite likely that the defense won’t be too good so he’ll have to be throwing a lot

So it’s lucky that they stocked up on targets during the draft, Keesean Johnson, Hakeem Butler and Andy Isabella all picked up in may to add to Larry Fitzgerald who I’m sure will have his hands full trying to mentor so many young receivers and Christian Kirk who had a decent rookie year with the shit that he had to deal with last season. Oh yeah. Kevin White is there too.

They brought in a few players to try and improve their offensive line which was one of the worst in the league last year, and changed offensive coordinator so I’m hopeful that David Johnson can get nearer to the figures he put up a couple of years ago before injury and bullshit coaching ruined last year. It should be an offense he does well in and I usually see him go in the top 10 in fantasy drafts. Despite the horrible play-calling last year he still ended with 10 TDs on the season.

I’m not a huge fan of their defense to be honest, conceded the 7th most points last year, and were worst in the league against the rush, admittedly playing the Seahawks twice probably didn’t help that line.


 

Bets for the NFC West?

  • Kyler Murray o3325.5 passing yards – 5/6 (Skybet) – 10 points. (If you want a little safer you can get o3285.5 at 4/6 on 365.

I’d love to say o5 wins for the Cards, but they’ve got a really rough schedule on paper, in division is tough, out of division not much better. I’d be surprised if they don’t at least push on 5, but it’s not one I want to take on.

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